This Sunday will be my official installation service as the new pastor here at the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church (GEFC) in Gaylord, Michigan. I think most people might go, "What in the world is an 'installation' service?" It kind of sounds painful, doesn't it? Actually I think it is more of an important element to the church than it is to the new pastor. It is an opportunity for the church leadership to put their official "stamp of approval" of sorts on saying, "we believe that this is God's man for this church at this time." It is a time for the congregation to dedicate their new pastor to the ministry and to the Lord!
Several of the church leaders will be saying a few words including Glen Catt, who is the Elder Board Chairman; Ed Hunt, who is the Church Chairman; and Margus Wegmeyer, who was the chairman of the Search Team that brought me here to GEFC. Rick Thompson, who is the district superintendent of the E-Free churches will be giving a charge to the congregation. I have not met Rick as of yet and look forward to getting to know him. And my ministry mentor, Pastor Steve Peters, will be joining us to give the charge to me as the new pastor. Steve has been to me what the Apostle Paul was to Timothy and I am thrilled to have him share in this service.
It reminds me of a very special service that took place in my life 20 years ago back on Sunday, February 3, 1991. That was the day of my ordination service at the church where I started in ministry, serving under Pastor Steve Peters. The picture above is of the leaders of that church and our fathers laying their hands on Laura and myself and praying for us. That was also the day of my daughter's first birthday. 20 years ago I never dreamed God would ultimately take me to northern Michigan but I am absolutely thrilled to be here and to be part of this special church.
I am very much looking forward to this Sunday and to this special event. 20 years ago on the cake celebrating my ordination into the ministry, Pat Deal (who made the cake) created it with the quote from D.L. Moody on it - "If God be your partner, make your plans large!" That quote is still my favorite quote of all-time. God is our partner where at GEFC, so let's make our plans large and believe God to do through us immeasurably more than anything we could ever ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).